In the space below, describe your first reactions to The Enchanted Braid: Coming to Terms with Nature on the Coral Reef by Osha Gray Davidson.
Start with the big picture. What sort of feelings does the first chapter leave you with? From your reading of the first bit, how is this book both similar to and different from a typical text you might read in a science course? Without looking ahead... what do you anticipate of the text to come? Why? How do you think this read might compliment the use of more traditional textbooks, etc? Be text-based in your responses where possible and provide ample detail to back up your claims. Use the general guidelines of the attached rubrics to keep yourself on track...
After reading the first page I was reminded of seeing a special on TV a few months back about Census of Marine Life. As I continued on in the first chapter I noticed that I started making comparisons to a book I had to read for my Intro to Wildlife class this past spring. The book is by Aldo Leopold called A Sand County Almanac. I was instantly drawn to make the conclusion that the reef is Osha Davidson's phenomenon; "I felt completely, if inexplicably, as home, as if I belonged there as much as the fishes or the sea cucumbers or the corals"( Davidson 10). I also related a comparison between this quote:
"We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect" Aldo Leopold A Sand County Almanac.
And the lastfew pages of the chapter is that we as human do see the world, land and ocean, as a commodity to us. It is only once things begin to get destroyed and we notice the ripple effect of our actions. That as humans we owe it to ourselves and future generations to educate ourselves about the world before destroying it.
"There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”-Aldo Leopold A Sand Country Almanac
"Of course, if we are to save the reefs, we must understand them better. But here we have to come full circle."(Davidson 11).
When we begin educating ourselves about the land and ocean, we must go back to the simplest of things and begin drawing our own conclusions from them.
What I anticipate from the book as I read on is that Davidson will continue to educate us about coral reefs but, from a journalistic point of view. I feel that he will go more in-depth on details of the coral reef but, also the way humans are impacting them. I believe that books like this compliment textbooks well, as they allow you to be more open with your inferences and not just straight forward like a textbook does. In my Intro to Wildlife class we had to read passages from A Sand County Almanac, and then write about the passage and what it meant to us. We also had class discussions about the passages which allowed us to see how different individuals interpreted a journalistic text differently.
I love it that you made the connection to Aldo Leopold. That's a first time in reading this book with this class... and likely due to you being at Western now as opposed to high school. Very cool. Erin & I have long been into Sand County Almanac. This particular quote is one that is dear to my heart as a biology teacher of my generation. Perhaps also due to the fact that I taught Botany for many years, and it was my first field of study in undergraduate:
"There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”-Aldo Leopold, A Sand Country Almanac
Four years ago I did a post on what is essentially this very topic called Where are the Seeds in an Orange? Give it a skim. I think you'll see the parallels. Nice work.
Glad you're into it. I love sharing good literature.
Less than two tenths of one percent... and approximately 33% of all fish species in the sea? Boy, what does that say about the density (diversity really) of life there? It really is quite mind boggling when you come from a terrestrial ecosystem in the middle of a Northern continent like we do.
I completely agree about your assertion here: "The Author connects factual information to readers' senses and emotions and I feel like it will be much easier to retain the information presented." Mostly because of my 20 years of experience helping students learn about biology, but also because there is an emerging body of data to be found that illustrates this very thing.
This is my favorite quote of your entire response: "I imagine a map laying over the top of it, with street names and neighborhoods and freeways." Stick with that idea. If you can already visualize something like that... I'm betting you could create something like that during the course of the year... and that would be more than awesome.
If 33% of out fish are from the ocean how did they get there? where they always there or did they just swim up our rivers? I always wondered that.
Ahhhhhhh, Nemo. This: "...when I think "coral reef" it's always been images from things I've seen at aquariums or on Finding Nemo," is a really interesting thing isn't it? It reminds me a bit of the Aldo Leopold discussion above about how children today and increasingly "detached" from nature. However, this isn't perfectly true in this case, because most folks who live so far from the sea have little hands-on experience with it. You can't really expect Missouri kids to be "reef savvy" by your age. But you DO have some schema for coral reefs coming in. For countless people, that background knowledge consists mostly of scenes from Nemo. If only "Planet Earth, and the like, could play at big theaters. Wait... if people would attend such showings, they probably would play in such theaters.
Sounds like you were generating lots of visuals of reefs in your mind from that reading. Do you think you could find an image that most illustrates what is in your mind right now? Do a search and scan a hundred or so... help us see what you are seeing.